Even if you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss in American Fork and visits to your hearing aid doctor are commonplace, you might not be familiar with the latest features available on these devices. October is National Audiology Awareness Month, the perfect opportunity to share the latest breakthroughs in hearing aid technology.
Hearing Aid Breakthroughs
If you’ve never worn hearing aids before, you probably have some outdated misperceptions about what they look like and how well they perform. Hearing loss patients a generation or two ago were forced to contend with oversized devices that provided limited functionality, especially in difficult listening environments, such as those with noisy backgrounds or poor acoustics. Problems such as whistling, feedback, and distortion were all too common. Many a hearing aid ended up gathering dust in a dresser drawer.
To paraphrase a popular advertising slogan from the 1960s, hearing aids have come a long way, baby! Analog devices are every bit as extinct as the Tyrannosaurus Rex; today’s hearing aids take advantage of digital technology, which has led to improved sound quality and reduced or eliminated many of the issues prevalent before. They are smaller and sleeker than devices worn even ten years ago; in fact, many are so small, they are virtually invisible.
Some of the most popular new hearing aid technology includes:
- Digital Programming. Digitized sound processing converts sound waves into digital signals for clear, natural sound. A built-in computer chip is able to differentiate between speech and noise, converting the former into a clear, amplified signal while ignoring the latter. In addition to better overall sound, this allows for advanced programming options, a more precise fit, and a range of features designed to improve and enhance functionality.
- Bluetooth. Bluetooth® is a wireless communication platform that allows electronic devices to communicate with one another through the exchange of data. Bluetooth isn’t confined to use in smartphones, MP3 players, computers, and headphones; it is widely found in hearing aids, allowing users to stream signals from these and other devices directly to their hearing aids.
- Rechargeable Batteries. One of the biggest inconveniences associated with hearing aids is the constant need to change batteries. Not only do they represent a regular expenditure that must be budgeted for, but they can die suddenly at inconvenient times, leaving users without the ability to communicate effectively. Rechargeable technology solves this dilemma by providing up to 24 hours of performance on a single charge, allowing users to wear them all day long without worry that they’ll run out of power. And they save money in the long run!
The one thing constant about technology is change. Just a few years ago many of today’s most popular hearing aid features were unimaginable; it’s difficult to envision the changes we’ll see in the future.
For more information on the latest hearing aid technology or to learn more about National Audiology Awareness Month, speak with your American Fork audiologist today!